ABERDEENSHIRE, a maritime county, in the north-east part of Scotland, and one of the most extensive counties in the kingdom, bounded on the north by the Moray Firth; on the east by the German Ocean; on the south by Perth, Forfar, and Kincardine shires, and on the west by the counties of Banff and Inverness. It lies between 56° 52' and 57° 42' (N. Lat.), and 1° 49' and 3° 48' (W. Lon.), and is eighty-six miles in extreme length, and forty-two miles in extreme breadth; comprising an area of 1985 square miles, or 1,270,400 acres; 32,063 inhabited, and 1091 uninhabited, houses; and containing a population of 192,387, of which number 89,707 are males, and 102,680 females. From the time of David I., the county was included in the diocese of Aberdeen; at present, it is almost wholly in the synod of Aberdeen, and includes several presbyteries, the whole containing eighty-five parishes. For civil purposes, it is divided into eight districts, Aberdeen, Alford, Deer otherwise Buchan, Ellon, Garioch, Kincardine-O'Neil, Strathbogie, and Turriff, in each of which, under the superintendence of a deputy lieutenant, the county magistrates hold regular courts. It contains the three royal burghs of Aberdeen, Kintore, and Inverury, the market-towns of Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Turriff, and Meldrum, and numerous large fishing-villages on the coast. Under the act of the 2nd William IV., the county returns one member to parliament.
The SURFACE, towards the sea, is tolerably level; but the greater portion forms part of the central highlands, and consists of high mountains, interspersed with a few valleys. The principal mountains are, Ben-Macdhui, the loftiest in Britain; the Braeriach, which has an elevation of 4304 feet; Ben-Aburd, Ben-Aven, Lochnagar, and Morven, which vary from 2500 to 4300 in height, with numerous others from 800 to 2000 feet in height. Of the valleys the chief are the Garioch and Strathbogie, the former inclosed on all sides with hills of moderate height, and the latter enriched with wood, abounding in beautiful scenery, and highly cultivated. The rivers are the Dee, the Don, the Ythan, the Doveron, and the Ugie, but the rapidity of their currents renders them comparatively useless for the purpose of navigation; they have their sources, generally, among the mountains in the south-west, and flow towards the north and north-east. All of them abound with fine salmon, and fish of every kind is taken on the coast.
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